Jhere’s a running gag in the games industry that games based on licensed properties like movies are doomed to fail, and it’s a gag with plenty of supporting evidence going from the beginning Batman games at The Matrix Games to many others. Of course, there have been exceptions with people like Spiderman 2 on PS2 and goldeneye007 – but they are few in number and therefore unable to challenge this norm. It’s widely believed that the publishers and owners of these IPs don’t seem to really understand what makes games fun and how best to translate a passive experience like a movie into an active experience like a video game.
A great example of this deep misunderstanding between creators and players is developer Teyon Rambo – The video game which was released in 2014 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game was unanimously criticized for just about everything it tried to do, and remains one of the worst licensed video games in recent memory. To this end, we ask the question – what happened with Rambo – The video game?
Rambo the video game obviously depends on the Rambo Trilogy which sees popular action hero Sylvester Stallone take on entire hordes of soldiers using guerrilla tactics and primitive weaponry like bows and knives. I vividly remember watching those movies and the action-packed sets, and thinking, “They really should make a video game out of those movies.” So when developer Teyon announced Rambo – The video game back in 2012 with a short montage of iconic moments from the trilogy, everyone’s excitement Rambo the fans – myself included – were through the roof.
Sure, there had been games based on that very property – but they were limited to primitive games and arcade shooters and Rambo fans have long been hungry for a proper console release. Rambo – The video game had two major advantages that set it apart from other licensed video games – a) it was not limited to one movie for the source material as the game is based on the entire trilogy and b) there was no movie to come, which means the developer didn’t have to rush the game to meet the deadlines. As such, Rambo – The video game looked poised to be a hit licensed video game; the one who would quench the thirst of Rambo fans after all these years.
But when Teyon revealed the first gameplay details about what Rambo – The video game the gameplay would entail, fans were wary of. An on-rails shooter with stealth sections based on quick events? Looks like someone made a Spider Man game, but subjected players to the mundane life of Peter Parker rather than letting them swing around buildings as a beloved webhead. And those suspicions that Teyon’s next game was a disaster waiting to hit were raised when the game was first shown to the public. Rambo – The video game didn’t feel like a last-gen PS3 and Xbox 360 title, with its muddy texture work and sub-par character models being two of this game’s biggest problems.
Despite delaying its original release from 2013 to 2014, the quality of the production just wasn’t up to par. And despite the many red flags, some fans still hoped Rambo – The video game be a worthy game. For others though, it was a disaster just waiting to happen. And when Rambo – The video game was released to the public, critics and fans around the world slammed the game for a variety of reasons – and many called it one of the worst games in recent memory.
Along with the muddy visuals, the gameplay was pretty shallow – lacking in depth and variety as you were subjected to one tightly scripted on-rails shootout after another. Even the basic act of shooting through hordes of soldiers is rendered unsatisfactory thanks to brain-dead AI and little variety among the shootouts themselves. Whole sections of stealth and sets made up of QTEs, meaning the only real gameplay you get is shooting down endless hordes of soldiers, which wasn’t that much fun at first.
To add fuel to the fire, the game only lasted 3-4 hours – although in by Rambo defense, the game features additional modes and challenge races to keep players coming back for more. But because the core gameplay is so sloppy and unenjoyable, getting through this relatively short campaign feels like a huge chore – let alone entering for a second or third time.
Rambo – The video game was a total disappointment by all means. The game has a 34 rating on Metacritic, making it one of the lowest rated games of all time. What really happened behind the scenes that resulted in such a gruesome exit is a big mystery, but almost all signs point to Rambo – The Video Game being a clear case of cash grabbing.
To begin with, even something as basic as the concept of the game was questionable from the start. Although graphics are not the be-all and end-all of a game, Rambo – The video game has visuals so muddy you could easily mistake the game for a PS2 and Xbox generation title. It’s a complete disaster by any means and seems like it was clearly made under very tight budget and time constraints with the sole purpose of getting quick cash from millions and millions of Rambo fans across the world. world.
Looking back Rambo – The video game, this drastic failure seems like a total disappointment. The team seemed to have everything in their favor – no strict deadlines and constraints for releasing a tie-in movie, etc. Imagine how great it would be if we got a good AAA Rambo game that featured these dense and lush jungle environments. The gameplay would be a mix of stealth and action, something akin to Burst cell. Rambo would have a huge arsenal of primitive and heavy weaponry at his disposal which he would use to take down huge hordes of enemies on his own. Of course, we could daydream again and again about what that perfect Rambo game might look like – but in the face of such disappointing releases over the past few decades, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll see another game featuring this mighty soldier of sis. early.
Hilariously enough, I’m not the only disappointing release from developer Teyon Entertainment. After the release of Rambo in 2014, the developer would go on to create another licensed video game in the form of Terminator: Resistance who fared relatively better than Rambo, but didn’t really leave a mark on the industry. Teyon Entertainment is on board again with the recently unveiled Robocop: Rogue Town, currently slated for release next year. The first look at the game is nothing short of mind-blowing, but we hope with our fingers crossed that the game will change this developer’s fate for good.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.